Supervisor: Prof. John Tenhunen
Since I took part in the course “material flow in ecosystems” at the University of Bayreuth, I have been interested in studying the interactions between organisms and their environments. In this course we undertook practical field and greenhouse measurements of CO2 fluxes from the ecosystems. In addition, we covered a wide range of ecophysiology measurements related to plant functioning in their environments. Since then, I have been involved in a series of ecological research initiatives that have deepened my understanding of ecosystem functioning and stimulated my interests to provide answers to challenging ecological questions. One of these questions has been how to accurately measure ecosystem CO2 exchange. In the last few months, I have found myself grappling with this question, which has formed the core part of my “diplom” field research/thesis work. I have made substantial progress as I monitored CO2 fluxes in bog ecosystems in Southern Germany (Fichtelgebirge) using different approaches. The outcome is as rewarding as the number of questions it has elicited. The announced vacancy in TERRECO-project that deals with agricultural ecosystems could be an opportunity for me in solving the persistent riddle in ecosystem CO2 exchanges which could be strongly influenced by ecosystem biodiversity. The following reasons support my argument:
1. The project appears to be well endowed and the opportunities for trying myriad methodologies are limitless. The experience I have gained from both ecosystem chamber methods and from the small leaf cuvettes provides a basis for wild exploration.
2. There is ample time for experimentation and adequate financial support, providing enough freedom and ample space for manoeuvre.
3. The intended research location, away from local disruptions and favouring concentration during field activities.
4. The project co-ordination under Prof. Tenhunen provides the right scientific guidance that I need for my success. I feel this is just the right place to test my wild imaginations and hypotheses.